Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gays to lose the Darwinian struggle?

Does the understanding that homosexuality is innate--which is generally the consensus among those for whom so much else is inconsistently believed to be shaped by the socio-cultural environment--threaten the sustainability of gayness in the same way the intellectual primacy of evolution is threatened by Darwinists losing the Darwinian struggle? I am not aware of data to address the possibility empirically, but reading about Oscar Wilde's two children made me wonder.

If the germ theory of homosexuality is accurate, then the question is irrelevant. But if sexual preference is genetic in origin (which is admittedly not an idea easily comprehended), does the increasing tolerance of homosexuality as a valid lifestyle, morally on par with heterosexuality (or even superior to it) mean fewer homosexuals will stay in the closet and "live a lie" in pursuing the American dream, including a wife and, more importantly, children?


Jokah Macpherson said...

Hey Audacious Epigone, hope you are having a merry Christmas.

This is an interesting topic. I have read somewhere that it is likely that the various genetic "causes" of homosexuality provide positive reproductive benefits for heterosexual females. You would think that something like this would have to be the case for it to maintain its persistence through the human population for so many years. At any rate, I don't think there's going to be much change due to more widespread acceptance of homosexuality as token attempts at heterosexual marriage are being replaced by lots of high-profile homosexuals having biological children through sperm/egg donation and surrogacy (Clay Aiken, Neil Patrick Harris, etc.)

Audacious Epigone said...


Thanks, Merry Christmas.

If it's hereditary in nature, right. But if it's caused by something else, then it's persistence doesn't necessarily mean it is anymore beneficial than lead poisoning. Gregory Cochran has said the prevalence of homosexuality is too high to be the result of random mutation, insinuating that if it doesn't provide some sort of inclusive fitness benefit, it is unlikely to be genetic in origin.

Good point about the potential irrelevance of the question in the face of rapidly expanding options for non-sexual reproduction.

Anonymous said...

Look for the biological trigger of it to be identified w/in the next decade. Too many studies out there, too much technology for the cause not to be identified fairly soon.

Notice that it's not just Cochran and Ewald anymore--while these two came right out over a decade ago and said they thought a pathogen to be a likely trigger, others in the field who are studying it through genome studies of brothers/families often speak of a "genetics + environment" combo leading to male homosexuality. This is "safe-speak" in the research world.

The "environment" is research-speak for either a toxin (unlikely) or a bug (likely). However, such talk, for the time being anyway, keeps quiet both political extremes; the religious right likes to interpret "environment" as meaning family dynamics while the left likes to feel that "genetic +environment" means that there's a natural evolutionary benefit to humanity for homosexuality and they wish to conclude "it's genetic."

There are researchers who believe the causes are hormonal and happen in utero--however, even they realize that, should this be the case, there has to be an explanation for such a thing to happen at such a rate, for natural selection would weed out mother's whose bodies don't "hormonize" their babies properly. Thus, even the hormone theory begs for a trigger.

Look at everything else that pathogens cause.

Anonymous said...

Should the cause be preventable, prospective parents, most of them anyway, will take the steps to prevent it from occurring to begin with.

Parents want natural grandkids, and they won't take the chance that their sons might be sissy boys-too much pain involved for the little kid to be different from his peers.

Mark Wethman said...

I think homosexuality is caused by a combination of factors, including genes and the pre-natal environment. I don't think that the increased acceptance of male homosexuality will lead to fewer male homosexuals because the studies I've seen show no correlation between a father's homosexuality and his sons' chances of being gay. So, if it's genetic in part, that part is not passed through the dad.

I agree with those who say that once the factors are ferreted out, parents will take steps to prevent the birth of homosexuals, which is sad, because it's difficult enough to find a date as it is. Then again, we probably won't see the results of that for another 40 years (20 for the technology, another 20 for that generation to grow up) and I doubt I'll be cruising for 20 year olds when I'm 70.

(Oh yeah, also, such backwards actions by the unenlightened would be a total tragedy because we would lose a vibrant, lavender thread in the beautiful tapestry that is diversity in America blah blah blah...)

In all seriousness, it would be rough for the homosexuals who remained if our percentage of the male population were to drop from, say, 6% to .6%.

We gays may be living in a golden age, post-Stonewall but pre-tinkering.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that gayness occurs in part because it helps to allow the survival of other family members who will be reproducing; they don't need as many resources.

Anonymous said...

"I've heard that gayness occurs in part because it helps to allow the survival of other family members who will be reproducing; they don't need as many resources."

That hypothesis has been debunked by many evolutionary biologists, yet it survives on the blogoshere among some, particularly among the pc who are trying their best to square homosexuality's existence with neo-Darwinism and are having a hard time doing it. They can't do it because it's un-doable.

They refuse to accept the only hypothesis that makes sense--male homosex is the result an insult to brain cells either in utero or in early childhood.

Anonymous said...

I think it's "womb environment" though the germ theory, or even the -- very interesting -- chimera theory also seem reasonable.

But what's going to eliminate it is simply diagnosis and abortion. The vast, vast, vast majority of people having children do not *want* to have homosexuals and no PC b.s. is going to change that.

It may be in a generation that the only folks having homosexual children are anti-abortion christians.

truthvstolerance said...

I've recently been researching the impact of the new strain of meningitis outbreak in NYC, I think this is a perfect example of Darwinism and the gay male community.